A lot of people hate the Windows Store. Since Windows 8 was unveiled in 2012, Windows released an app store designed to run on touch screen surfaces of tablets and PCs. However, Windows was in a bit too much of a rush to fill the store with apps, and as such adhered to some less-than-ideal app policies. This led to an influx of apps that were… low-quality, to say the least. Duplicate apps, apps with similar titles, overpriced apps, and falsely advertised apps all contributed to the general public’s distaste of the Windows store.
In anticipation of Windows 10, which will be released over the summer, Windows is cleaning out its virtual shelf space and tightening regulations. Windows 10 is designed to create a seamless experience from phone to tablet to PC. As such, it’s merging the Windows Store and the Windows Phone Store into a one-stop shopping superstore. In the meantime, it’s making room for better quality apps and getting rid of junk. To do this, its new guidelines will:
- Remove apps that have similar content, names, and icons, and disallow them in the future. Too many apps doing the same thing confuse and mislead customers. Apps that copy popular titles but don’t deliver on content will also be removed from the store.
- Make it clear what customers are purchasing. Currently, educational apps like reference guides are lumped in with games and other apps. This has been misleading customers to buy tutorials and guides they don’t need. The new Windows store will require developers to clearly label their apps as to what they are and what they offer. Likewise, any third-party apps that falsely advertise functionality by ripping off big-time names will be promptly removed.
- Revisit the pricing structure. Because developers set their own prices for their apps, the marketplace has become a veritable free-for-all on pricing practices. Apps that offer the same functionality as others, but are significantly overpriced, will be discouraged and may even be removed.
Hopefully, Microsoft’s decision to pull back the reins on app guidelines will generate new interest in its app store.